Are you enjoying your robotic Roomba vacuum? Well, some consumers may have had cause to be a little anxious this week. In an interview with Reuters, iRobot chief executive Colin Angle gave the impression that the company was selling consumers’ home mapping data that was picked up by the device. This week, Angle decided to clear the air and tell us what’s really going on.
“First things first, iRobot will never sell your data,” Angle told ZDNet in a followup interview. “Our mission is to help you keep a cleaner home and, in time, to help the smart home and the devices in it work better.” So you don’t have to worry about your Roomba 960 stealing your personal data.
In the original interview with Reuters, Angle seemingly suggested that the company could hash out a deal with Apple, Google, or Amazon in the coming year and so to sell customers’ home mapping data. ZDNet’s David Gewirtz then reached out to Angle via a letter, stating his concerns. It was then that Angle rephrased what he originally meant to say. It seems like Angle was trying to convery that consumers will have a choice.
iRobot still says it plans on sharing that personal data, but it won’t be doing it for money, apparently. Angle said the data collected by the Roomba could help enhance smart homes in the future. Only this time, he made sure to say that if a consumer wanted such a feature, it would be their personal choice whether or not they wanted to share the info with other apps and devices. iRobot says Reuters initially misinterpreted Angle’s words, and the publication has since issued a correction.
The paragraph that caused the uproar consisted of the words “sell maps,” but have now been changed to “share maps for free with customer consent.” iRobot went on to say that it does not currently share data with third parties. But if it was to go ahead and so so, it will be sure to get your consent beforehand. You can probably breathe a little easier knowing that your Roomba is not a secret spy.